Monday, May 21, 2007

Misleading headline on my story

Andre "Bone Breaker" Beffenbarg, left, celebrates winning his first mixed martial arts fight, stopping Wyatt Marker at 15 seconds of the first round.

I attended the Legends of Fighting Championship event on Saturday at The Plex and saw some great fight action. The bout featured 13 matches between fighters mostly from around the Indiana/Ohio area. I had a great time watching and photographing the action.

I wrote a story about the event for The News-Sentinel that was published today (Monday, May 21), and the headline on the story is misleading, in my opinion. The headline reads "Local fighters punished in Legends Championship." In defense of the headline writer, that person probably read the paragraph about Bobby Martinez' gash on the side of his nose and described it as punishment. Someone just reading the headline might get the impression that Fort Wayne fighters didn't perform well. That just wasn't the case, and it certainly wasn't my intention to give that impression. I thought my story actually spoke more to the strengths of the local fighters and not describing it as punishment. I certainly plan to bring this to the attention of the headline writer, when I find out who wrote it. It is generally that person's job to read the whole piece to figure out the importance of the article, and I'm not sure that's what happened.

In any case, I apologize to anyone who read that headline and took a meaning from it that I did not intend.

This weekend should be a treat to MMA fans. On Friday, the Legends of Fighing Championship will host an event at the 8 Second Saloon in Indianapolis on Friday. In the LFC main event, Fort Wayne fighter Anthony Lapsley takes a 9-1 record against undefeated Kyle Gibbons (9-0). Then on Saturday, Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson square off in UFC 71 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, also available on pay-per-view. That should be a great match to watch.

Another fight to put on the radar is the match between Fort Wayne native Jon Fitch who carries a 18-2 record against 11-5 Roan Carneiro in UFC fight Night, JUne 12 on Spike TV. some writes have said Fitch is the best MMA fighter no one has heard about. This match will be his national TV debut and is scheduled as a co-main event.

From left, Jaron Markland, 6, Mikayla Markland, 7, and Tanya Markland react as Wade Markland is forced to submit in his fight against Chris Higi at the Legend of Fighting Championship contest on Saturday at The Plex.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MMA story tomorrow

In my new writing/shooting capacity at The News-Sentinel I am given the opportunity to work on story packages - sometimes of my choice, and sometimes not. But, whether I choose a topic or not, it is a bonus to have control over the types of images I include with the story. I worked on such a package last week that will run in The News-Sentinel Thursday, May 17.

Mixed martial arts competitions are popping up all over the country. It is certainly due to a huge explosion in popularity and some claim it is the fastest growing sport in America. Having trained in martial arts for more than a decade, I was enthusiastic about writing a piece describing the sport and its growth in popularity.

This Saturday, (May 19) the Legends of Fighting Championship group is bringing its MMA show to The Plex, here in Fort Wayne. It should be an interesting show, and LFC promoter Steve Sims assured me that almost every one of the events his group puts together sells out due to the party atmosphere he's worked to create. He calls it the "ultimate party."

If you have any interest in mixed martial arts, check out The News-Sentinel on Thursday and again on Monday for the results of the LFC fight.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pole Day - part deux

If you read the previous post, you already know Dario Franchitti led the race for the pole position for this year's Indy 500. In fact, he led for about five hours before Helio Castroneves, the second to last driver on the track, took it from him. Castroneves waived off his earlier attempt to take another shot at the pole, and it paid off. But after the first two laps from Tony Kanaan, who took the track last, Castroneves' lead looked in doubt. Kanaan held the fastest pace through three laps, but his last lap cost him the pole by the slimmest of margins at .06 mph. Castroneves held on to the pole, giving team owner Roger Penske his 14th pole position at the Brickyard. News-Sentinel columnist Reggie Hayes pointed out to me that Castroneves had won the pole in more than half of the last 26 races he's entered. If things go his way on May 27, Spiderman will climb the fence at Indy for the third time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pole Day

For the first time in three years, the race car drivers are running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday for Pole Day. The weather at the track is great with clear skies and 80 degree temperatures. The drivers are through the first round of runs, and now they're going back to practice mode to work out the kinks and prepare for another run at the pole.

Andretti-Green racer Dario Franchitti is currently in the pole position with an average speed of 225.191 mph. It remains to be seen if Franchitti will hold the top spot, considering five other drivers have driven faster during practice sessions today than his fastest lap speed in the qualifying run. Penske racing drivers Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. both pulled off the line before entering the track, so they still have yet to take a green flag. Yesterday, Scott Dixon broke the 227 mph mark. Dixon is holding the fourth spot at the moment.

Danica Patrick qualified in the third spot on her first run but was bumped down to fifth after teammates Franchitti and Tony Kannan qualified in the first and second spots, respectively. Other driver to look out for are Ryan Briscoe in the third position and Dan Wheldon, currently in sixth.

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